Proving God

God is a disappointing god because He won’t do the things you think He should do. He will only do the things He said He will do: save you, forgive you, transform you. I don’t wonder why some people do their best to explain His non-existence. We want a god who will do our will, not a god who has a will of his own that we can’t dictate to. That god does not exist. And the God who exists is not that.

I wrote this on my Facebook status last September 8 after hearing about the latest theory that proves, they say, that God does not exist. But that wasn’t really what they were saying. They were saying that you don’t need a Supreme Being. There’s a whale of a difference between those two statements.

As a Christian, I’ve always been afraid of being asked to prove the existence of the God I claim I believe in. Somehow, I knew saying that I was brought up to believe that there IS a God isn’t going to cut it. As I grew in my faith, I have heard of friends who decided to challenge “this God” to prove Himself, that He truly existed, to them. And He did! In trivial ways, yes, but trivial stuff is where we usually disregard the existence of God.

My best friend told me the story of a girl dorm mate saying: “God, if you really exist, I should see something yellow.” It was nighttime at the college campus where she was walking back to the dorm, the only colors around being darkening blue-to-black sky, dark green leaves, dark brown tree trunks, the silver-gray lampposts, the grayish-white street lights, and the gray road. The dorm was a light green then. But on impulse, she said, she turned around, even if she knew she was all alone on the street. She was wrong. About half a block away, too far away for her to hear, was another girl.

Wearing a bright yellow shirt.

It was that one incident that started her on the quest to get to know this God. I haven’t heard from or of her since that time. I don’t know if she has chosen to believe in this God or not, but one thing is certain: she could no longer claim God didn’t exist. She had challenged Him, and He had called her bluff. Next move was hers.

But a lot of disbelievers will explain away stories like this as coincidence. True, it could be that. It was just too precise. Of all colors she could have wanted to see, she chose yellow. Not red or pink or blue or green or maroon. Yellow. And the girl behind her just happened to have worn yellow that day. It was too well-timed to be mere coincidence.

Yes, that’s my opinion. As the venerable Oogway says: “There are no accidents.”

But there has to be another, more objective way to prove the existence of God.

During that week, I had found a copy of The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. It was a a collection of interviews with well-known Christians who were experts in certain fields, and have used their expertise to prove the soundness of the Christian faith. As a Christian, I love this kind of material. Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands A Verdict was too scholarly for me, but I definitely enjoyed his More Than A Carpenter so much that I hunt for it in used books stalls for giving away.

I had finished reading these books before I encountered the new “evidence” that God — a Supreme Being — is unnecessary for the existence of the universe and mankind. And I was dumbfounded. How do I fight for my faith? How do I defend it? Is there a concrete thing I can point to to prove that this God does exist, and more than exist, created, cares for and longs to be involved with His creation? With us humans?

Lee Strobel says that he was an atheist, believing that “God was merely a product of wishful thinking, of ancient mythology, of primitive superstition.” And that “the divinity of Jesus was nothing more than the fanciful invention of superstitious people.” The last chapter of The Case for Christi is entitled Conclusion: the Verdict of History. And in Lee Strobel’s conclusion, I found my answer:

“If Jesus is who he claims to be (and remember, no leader of any other major religion has even pretended to be God), as my Creator He rightfully deserves my allegiance, obedience and worship.” (p. 361, emphasis mine)

JESUS CLAIMED TO BE GOD.

If I wanted to know if God really exists, then I will have to examine the claims of this illegitimate carpenter from Nazareth. Buddha, Muhammad and other leaders and founders of religion never claimed deity for themselves. Only Jesus was unique in this. Only Jesus had the audacity to tell the religious elite of His day that “before Abraham was, I AM”, using the name that God had told Moses. Evidence for the historical Jesus exists even outside the Christian bible, all written within a few years of his earthly existence.

Lee Strobel’s expert on the corroborating evidence about Jesus (evidence aside from the Christian bible), Edwin M. Yamauchi, Ph.D., says that from these other writings, “We would have a considerable amount of important historical evidence; in fact, it would provide a kind of outline for the life of Jesus. We would know that

First, Jesus was a Jewish teacher;

Second, many people believed that he performed healings and exorcisms;

Third,some people believed he was the Messiah;

Fourth, he was rejected by the Jewish leaders;

Fifth, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius;

Sixth, despite this shameful death, his followers, who believed that he was still alive, spread beyond Palestine so that there were multitudes of them in Rome by A.D.64; and

Seventh, all kinds of people from the cities and countryside — men and women, slave and free — worshiped him as God.” (pp 114-115; reformatting for emphasis, mine)

Jesus is a historical figure. He existed on earth. And anyone who wants to know if there is a God owe it to themselves to study the claims of Jesus. An atheist friend once said that some believers are not open-minded. But neither are some atheists. If Christians believe because they want to believe, atheists don’t believe because they don’t want to believe. We all have our prejudices. In an attempt to  be open-minded, I tried listening to an explanation of this new theory that “proves the universe could have existed even without a Supreme Being.” It sounded so plausible, too, until the speaker suddenly said “therefore we don’t need God.”

See, that was the real issue: not whether God existed or didn’t, but is He really needed for existence? The bible says “in him we live and move and have our being,” speaking of Jesus. And that “the fullness of God dwelt bodily in him.” Jesus is said to be “God who became flesh and lived among us.”

Some say that God isn’t necessary, not just for existence, but for everyday life, that man has the ability to decide things for himself. Yes, we do have that ability. And I hope we use it wisely, by looking at as many sides of the issue as possible. History has proven the existence of Jesus. One must examine the life and claims of Jesus in order to come to a conclusion about the existence of God, because Jesus said he was God. If your investigation into his claims proves that they were unfounded,  then you have a solid basis for rejecting God’s existence. And you made a well-informed choice.

Just like Lee Strobel did. He researched. Then he talk to experts, presenting to them atheists’ claims about God and Jesus, and daring them to prove Jesus’ claim. And based on his research, he made his decision.

So should you, my friend. Study. Dare this God to prove himself. Dare to challenge the claims of Jesus.

But you have to be ready…because God just might call your bluff.

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